Saturday, 8 January 2011

How a video goes viral - by telling a great story



For quite some time, people have been asking what makes great, contagious viral content. A lot of companies assume that by chucking a ton of money and production value at a video, that the effort that they put into ‘seeding’ the content will pay dividends.

Well, let me tell you something – that’s just not true.

To show you how a video goes viral, I submit for your perusal the most recent example of a great viral video.



Why is this so significant? Well, the number one reason is that it is a great story.

Great stories are always the most enduring. From around the campfire, all the way to social media, bookmarking and mass media today, it is the single most important thing to consider when wanting to create compelling content, social or otherwise.

The journalist finds the homeless guy (Ted Williams). Williams will do a radio voice for loose change. He has an AMAZING VOICE. He’s had a hard time in the past with drugs and alcohol. He is discovered. 4.5 million Youtube views later, and the guy becomes a phenomenon!

This is a Hollywood story. It cheers us up. It has a happy ending, and it turns our assumptions on its head. We want to share it, through every avenue open to use (email, social, radio, television, the full works).

A great piece of social content is not about how much money you spend on it. It’s about the quality of your storytelling. Learning to write a good story is free, and the benefits are endless.

So don’t spend money. Spend a bit of time.

And if you want to read a bit more about Ted Williams, have a gander at this!